Stressors are conditions which trigger stress, resulting in distress expressed as negative mood states. Stressful life events and traumatic experiences can impair subjective well-being.
As a result of my life stress events, I had to deal with a recent stressor.
Five years ago I experienced considerable time pressures, being a nurse. I worked full-time and worked in the nursing setting of restructured hospitals, which were government owned, privately managed and did not have attached private clinics.
Nurses’ commute to work was perceived to be an unpleasant but unavoidable part of everyday life. I hated the morning darkness, crowded buses and among other things I hated the stress of having to wake up early. For me, that commute added a significant length of time to my working day, which had an impact on both my personal and professional life.
A heavy patient load also contributed to time pressures resulting in lack of time to fulfill all the tasks required by the patients. Too many patients to handle during the day, and the time scheduled for each patient was limited. The pressure on me was amplified when colleagues, such as doctors, nurse researchers or interpreters, interrupted their patient schedule.
When work did not flow well due to the overlook of other departments or mistake in the workflow, it caused interruption in work and delays. Doctors coming late for consultation then delayed the clinic session, and angry patients demanded the reason for seeing doctors later than their appointment time. In addition to managing the changing appointment schedule, I dealt with an emotional backlash from the patients.
Thus, the nature of nursing work included too many responsibilities, workload, working relationships, lack of recognition and demanding patients and relatives.
All my duties became burdensome. I bore too many responsibilities at work. I had to manage many patients, prepared monthly and quarterly reports and submitted them to three different departments, supervised my juniors at work, and taught 2 new staffs. Besides, finicky relatives made for me “nightmare” especially the wealthy ones. Some came in large numbers and they monitored my every movement. They expected me to care about the patient considering him to be the only patient in the ward.
As a result, this was the worst kind of stress that I have faced. People always consider that the role a woman is to be a wife or a mother. I really hate it, since women should not impress others and put all sort of stress on themselves. I do not like it that I have to please people that I do not like just because I have to do it. It is ridiculous.
Concerning the ways of dealing with stress, I experienced uplifts through leisure activities, having disposable income, laughing with my friends and social relationships that relieved stress. When I was really stressed out at work, I called my friends to meet for a drink, go clubbing, in order to de-stress. I enrolled in yoga class and consider that it also helps to de-stress and uplift my feelings.
Another way in which I relieved stress at work was my family members and other nurses. They are all sources of emotional support. As nurses it is necessary to shoulder pain and sadness together. Once I got scolded by a patient though it was not my fault. I sought comfort by sharing my ordeal with my team. It was touching to know that I was not alone and that as nurses everyone was the same. Hence, those ways of coping with difficulties helped me in reducing my stress level.
To conclude, experience of stress in both personal and professional life is a major concern for workers. Finding the right way to deal with stress allows retention of quality workers and promotes a healthier workplace.